After years of not having to have any real draft strategy with their first round pick the St. Louis Rams will now have to have, multiple plans and options ready for Thursday night’s NFL Draft. The Rams have had the “honor” of picking in the first two picks the last three seasons, but finally after a respectable 7-9 season in 2010 the Rams will be picking 14th overall.
The Rams biggest want in this draft is for a game-changing wide receiver. Unfortunately for the Rams in the hornface.com Mock Draft, those game-changers will not be available for their taking. So with the 14th pick in the hornface.com Mock Draft I will select Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End from Purdue for the St. Louis Rams.
Why I selected Kerrigan for the Rams
The reason I selected Kerrigan for the Rams is because of the teams need for more help on the defensive line and the quality that I believe Kerrigan has. The Rams have James Hall who had a terrific 2010 season, but whose career is going to end in the next couple of seasons. While the Rams are optimistic for George Selvie and Eugene Sims, they are not very deep at the position. Kerrigan not only increases the depth, but also keeps an eye on the future.
Kerrigan is a high motor player that can come in and make a difference. He was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-American at Purdue. Kerrigan had 13 sacks in 2009 and 12.5 sacks in 2010 for the Boilermakers. He makes plays and gets after the quarterback. That is the type of player that you cannot ever have too many of on your roster.
At 6’4 267 pounds you would hope that he would be able to put on a few more pounds before next season, but he would seem to be a bookend to Chris Long for the next 5-10 years. In addition, the intangibles are great on Kerrigan. He was the team captain and is an academic All-American. He certainly seems to match up with the “four pillars” philosophy.
His career and his makeup remind me of Grant Wistrom. Kerrigan, like Wistrom, is a high-energy high impact player. If Kerrigan can have as good of a run as Wistrom did, before injuries, then I believe that Kerrigan could be a real winner for the Rams at #14.
The Thought Process in the Mock Draft
Sitting in Billy Devaney’s shoes for the Rams in the Mock Draft went about as expected. The two wide receivers were gone and the next need was on the defensive line. It came down for me to a decision between Corey Liguet, Aldon Smith, J.J. Watt and Ryan Kerrigan.
Smith and Watt went off the board for me because I do not think they fit the Rams 4-3 system. Smith should go to a team that uses a 3-4 and he should be an outside linebacker. That is where he will have the most success. Watt seems to be best served as a defensive end in a 3-4 set. That is where it appears that he will have his most success. Kerrigan I think best fits the Rams system of those three guys.
As far as Liguet, something keeps telling me that he will not be an impact player in the NFL. It is just a vibe I get, but that is what being a general manager is about. Making decisions on the information available and your gut reaction is what it is all about.
The only other thought I had in making the Kerrigan pick was that Mark Ingram was still there. The Rams need to get another running back and I believe Ingram is special. It was something to think about.
I am a big fan of Kerrigan and I think he would be a great pick for the Rams. Most mock drafts have him going no higher than 16, but I think there are a number of teams that are missing the boat on this guy. The Draft is filled with defensive ends that “might” make a difference. Of all the guys rated in the same area as Kerrigan, I believe he is the safest pick and the best fit for the Rams system. That is why Kerrigan should be the pick if this Mock Draft scenario plays out.
To learn more about Kerrigan, check out Purdue Boilermakers Examiner Rob Blackman.
For more about the 2011 NFL Draft, be sure to check out the hornface.com NFL Mock Draft.
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